The Golden Knights Extend Ben Hutton: What Does It Mean?

Ben Hutton was given a nice two-year contract extension, making him a Golden Knight a bit longer. What does he bring to the table for Vegas? What are some things he can do to help the Knights?
Vegas Golden Knights v Montreal Canadiens
Vegas Golden Knights v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

You know you're a coveted man when your team signs you to a contract extension. It's even better when it's a two-year bump worth $1.95 million, proving the Golden Knights have faith in Ben Hutton. The defenseman has proven his worth after signing in 2021 as a free agent, ranking fifth on the team this season in plus/minus with a rating of +7.

It's safe to say the journey has been long and tough for the Brockville, Ontario native. Hutton was on the Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks, and Los Angeles Kings before landing in Vegas. He's played a combined 496 games in his career, making him a reliable veteran defenseman.

With the Golden Knights bombarded by injuries (particularly at goaltender), Hutton's services are desperately needed. The 30-year-old brings a veteran presence to the Golden Knights, adding poise and leadership for the younger units. Hutton also can move the puck, showing terrific mobility to boot.

Juraj Slafkovsky, Ben Hutton
Vegas Golden Knights v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

You also can't deny his versatility. Hutton makes for a good power play asset, showing his moxie on the offensive end. That's part of why the former fifth-round draft pick got the extension in the first place. When your better players go down (i.e. Adin Hill and Logan Thompson), it's up to every Golden Knight to pick up the pieces. That's where Hutton comes in.

However, there are some things the veteran defenseman can work on. For example, he must demonstrate better control in his zone. Yes, having the ability to adapt to an offensive style is a great asset. However, it doesn't mean anything if you don't know how to handle the puck.

Hutton also pairs up with Brayden McNabb occasionally, which means he can block more shots. McNabb leads the NHL in blocked shots with 100, while Hutton has... 37. Putting his body out there helps serve Bruce Cassidy's mission, making the former University of Maine product better, along with the team.

Still, we can agree that Hutton's earned his keep with the Golden Knights. With coveted versatility and a zest for competitiveness, he's become a reliable defenseman for Bruce Cassidy. If Hutton improves on his weaknesses, he can earn another extension, even making him a Golden Knight until he retires.

(Stats provided by StatMuse)